Never Never Navigation ?

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Never Never Navigation ?

Postby Genesis » Tue 23 Oct, 2012 6:44 pm

I will be travelling the never never later this year and have a couple of navigational questions to those who have travelled that way recently.

1. What is the best way to descend Clarke Falls, North or sothern side? What is the descent like?
2. I have heard that several of the past "reliable crossings" are now not so much ;) is there such thing as a reliable place to cross from the northern bank to the south
and at what point is best to do so.
3. What sort of walk times should I expect? stopping for pics etc...... I was planning to get from Junction to Kia ora in a day?

Also I would like to get some feedback from those who have done Kia-Ora to Pelion with Ossa and Pelion East side trips in a day... Doable ??

Cheers
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby pazzar » Tue 23 Oct, 2012 6:51 pm

You can definitely go up both mountains in a day. I've been up both on return from Pelion, distance isn't much different from Kia Ora. Pelion East is fairly quick from the gap, about 90 minutes return from memory.
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby corvus » Tue 23 Oct, 2012 7:31 pm

Genesis wrote:I will be travelling the never never later this year and have a couple of navigational questions to those who have travelled that way recently.

1. What is the best way to descend Clarke Falls, North or sothern side? What is the descent like?
2. I have heard that several of the past "reliable crossings" are now not so much ;) is there such thing as a reliable place to cross from the northern bank to the south
and at what point is best to do so.
3. What sort of walk times should I expect? stopping for pics etc...... I was planning to get from Junction to Kia ora in a day?

Also I would like to get some feedback from those who have done Kia-Ora to Pelion with Ossa and Pelion East side trips in a day... Doable ??

Cheers
Genesis

G'day Genesis,

1.Clarke Falls just visit from the NN track no big deal
2. Crossing the Mersey is always dependent on the water level there is a crossing that I have used couple of times between Clarke and Feather Falls that is easy to pick up and mostly reliable I do know that others head on down to Hartnett and cross just knee deep above the Falls.
3. Six to seven hours.
Kia -Ora to Pelion Gap around 4km about 1+hours Ossa(3 hours return) Pelion East 1.5 hours return) Pelion Gap to Pelion Hut around 4.5 km 1.5 hours would be a big day IMHO if you want to enjoy the walk rather than race through :)
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby Jennifurry » Thu 25 Oct, 2012 12:00 pm

I will be travelling the never never later this year and have a couple of navigational questions to those who have travelled that way recently.

1. What is the best way to descend Clarke Falls, North or sothern side? What is the descent like?
2. I have heard that several of the past "reliable crossings" are now not so much is there such thing as a reliable place to cross from the northern bank to the south
and at what point is best to do so.
3. What sort of walk times should I expect? stopping for pics etc...... I was planning to get from Junction to Kia ora in a day?

Also I would like to get some feedback from those who have done Kia-Ora to Pelion with Ossa and Pelion East side trips in a day... Doable ??

Cheers
Genesis


Hi Genesis,
1. There's a track/pad down the side of Clarke falls, tis no worries to get down.
2. Both the times I have travelled through I have crossed just above Hartnett, knee deep. A little scary when the water is high cos the rocks are slippery, but fine really. There is a rock bridge over a very narrow gorge JUST below Fergusson falls which would probably be a heaps better place to cross. It is mature rainforest on the North...East side of the Mersey between Hartnett and Fergusson, so I expect it would be pretty easy travelling through there to the falls and rock bridge. I haven't done it that way myself yet, I have heard of others doing so, (I have walked across the bridge however). Hope that doesn't just add another 2nd hand annecdote to your list :)...maybe someone here has a 1st hand account of using the rock bridge.
3. Junction hut to KO in a day is no worries.

ps. the Never Never is one of my favorite places, very much in love! Hope you love it too.

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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby tassie walker » Fri 26 Oct, 2012 1:36 pm

Hi Genisis

We have twice walked from Junction Lake to the Overland Track back in the 80's.

The first time we followed the instructions in Chapman's book and that was hard work. The second time we stayed on the northern side of the river and kept up in the forest as much as we could which made for easier walking. We then crossed the river at Hartnett Falls on the rock shelf above the falls. I don't recall how long it took but it made a much easier trip out of it. Don't know what it would be like after heavy rain though.

We are about to do the trip again (probably in November) so will post details when we return.
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby Genesis » Fri 26 Oct, 2012 6:46 pm

Jen,

Thanks for feedback, I am a big fan of the walking and Tassie is at the pinnacle of scenic walking.
I try to get away 2 weeks every year a week in Feb & a week in November, I did Frenchmans in Feb and
The Walls last Nov, loved the area so much I am heading back.

I always log & Blog my walks and post on here so I will let you all know how I go.

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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby pallen » Sun 28 Oct, 2012 11:45 pm

Hi Genesis,
I Went down the Mersey from Junction Lake Hut about a month ago. The snow made it interesting. Have been down that way about seven times, each time by a different route.
Best advice.
1). From Junction Lake Hut head around the northern side of the Lake, there is a track to the NP remote area sign in (in a bit of disrepair).
2). Stay on the northern side True Right) as you follow the obvious track down the side of Clarke Falls. The pink tape has been removed though the track is obvious but badly degraded. A rope would be handy to drop packs
and if its raining (highly likely) I would abseil down following the pack as it may be slippery.
3). When you come out of the Beach forest into an open grassy area the track is not continuous,hard to follow. It's best then to head North to the Beech Forest and then walk West for 2k crossing over 3 creek gulleys.
4). There is a track down from McCoy falls on the northern side but again the pink tape is gone and the track is at times difficult to follow.But your heading for a crossover from the N to S of the Mersey. True Right to the True Left.
5). Just opposite the marked scrub area marked on the map at 287585 there is a large tree fallen over the river which allows us to cross easily. It's a little difficult to find. Just upstream a little from the creek coming from the North to meet the main river ( and I sometimes follow it down back to the Mersey as it's reasonably free of scrub and mostly beech forest which always is easier to walk through).
The scrub is horrendous but there is an unusual clear grassy area right next to it which I use as a guide. You probably wont see it till your right next to the fallen tree. IT is worth the effort to find this fallen tree as once you have crossed the Mersey to the True Left the rest is easy.
6). If you can't find it is just as easy to cross when you spot the Scrubby area that's free of trees. It's easy to spot and the river is shallow there; as long as it's not been raining.
7). The big reason to cross at this point is that there is a good track on the South side (True Left) that continues on the TL all the way to the Hartnett Falls Track. It follows close to the river through some lovely beech forest to the over side of the Campfire Creek junction. It then continues through some bad scrub for 1k. There is mud but the track is continuous and ends on the fabulous NP track about 100m from the Falls. Naturally only turn right if you want to view the falls;otherwise the track goes up to the OT.
Please don't trip over the Hazard Sign erected by NP. Once you return to the Overland Track the rest is obvious.

Follow these directions as closely as possible as there is a world of hurt in the scrub either side of the Mersey.

It will be a long day from Junction Lake Hut to Kia Ora Hut but possible.
ps. Keep in mind that JL Hut is not as marked on the map but NP have erected a sign pointing us in the right direction. it's a further 100m on down on the Bank of the River.
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby Genesis » Mon 29 Oct, 2012 4:34 pm

Pallen,

Thanks for these great notes, I have read about the "Horrendous" scrub in numerous posts and that the myrtle treeline is a bastion of safety.
I am eagerly awaiting getting up there and dirty so to speak!

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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby tigercat » Mon 29 Oct, 2012 7:00 pm

Thanks for the notes Pallen and for starting the thread Genesis. I am also planning a first trip thru the never never. I hope to go thru in reasonably dry conditions.
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby GraemeSpedding » Tue 30 Oct, 2012 12:45 pm

Genesis wrote:I will be travelling the never never later this year and have a couple of navigational questions to those who have travelled that way recently.

1. What is the best way to descend Clarke Falls, North or sothern side? What is the descent like?
I have walked this a few times and always descend on the track which is very sosn after you leave J Lake. From there there is a foot pad until you reach some LARGE lateriet blouders, covered in moss - head dwon the river ans tick to the RH bank untily ou come to a HUGE log to cross on - assuming it has not been swept away. from there stick to the LH bank and follow the footpad to the falls on the OTrack.

2. I have heard that several of the past "reliable crossings" are now not so much ;) is there such thing as a reliable place to cross from the northern bank to the south
and at what point is best to do so.
See coment above - it was pretty big log so may not be gone yet. Otherwise wade across where ver it is shallowest and get across before the next falls.
3. What sort of walk times should I expect? stopping for pics etc...... I was planning to get from Junction to Kia ora in a day?
i have walked from J Lake to the OT in 3 hrs so Kia Ora is doable but why not camp at the old hut ( or near it) at Du Cane. No corwds of people and quite a nice spot - a bit muddy in the rain and collect water well away from the hut as the creek used rto be fouled by the wc from what i can remember.

Also I would like to get some feedback from those who have done Kia-Ora to Pelion with Ossa and Pelion East side trips in a day... Doable ??
Have done this without the Pelio east Side trip in a Day - its doable. Can prob inc the l atter as well if you 're a small fit party.
Good luck

Cheers
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby Skinky » Tue 30 Oct, 2012 2:01 pm

tassie walker wrote:Hi Genisis

We have twice walked from Junction Lake to the Overland Track back in the 80's.

The first time we followed the instructions in Chapman's book and that was hard work. The second time we stayed on the northern side of the river and kept up in the forest as much as we could which made for easier walking. We then crossed the river at Hartnett Falls on the rock shelf above the falls. I don't recall how long it took but it made a much easier trip out of it. Don't know what it would be like after heavy rain though.

We are about to do the trip again (probably in November) so will post details when we return.


Thanks for the useful info
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby sthughes » Tue 30 Oct, 2012 3:16 pm

Genesis wrote:I will be travelling the never never later this year and have a couple of navigational questions to those who have travelled that way recently.

1. What is the best way to descend Clarke Falls, North or sothern side? What is the descent like?
Noth. Easy but steep.

2. I have heard that several of the past "reliable crossings" are now not so much ;) is there such thing as a reliable place to cross from the northern bank to the south
and at what point is best to do so.
Tree Just upstream of McCoy falls at 55G 429380 5358472 (ADG66) IS GONE! We crossed easily on some fallen trees about 200m further upstream on 2 occasions. But if water levels are high most crossing points will be problematic (certainly wouldn't recommend immediately upstream of Hartnett Falls if over knee deep - it's a LONG drop!

3. What sort of walk times should I expect? stopping for pics etc...... I was planning to get from Junction to Kia ora in a day?
Depends on fitness etc. 6-7 hours I'd say would be easy enough

Also I would like to get some feedback from those who have done Kia-Ora to Pelion with Ossa and Pelion East side trips in a day... Doable ??
Yes, as long as you don't mind the scree hopping up Ossa, long day otherwise

Cheers
Genesis


Not sure about all this terrible scrub being described. It was pretty easy when I did it in 2009 and 2011, just a bit of light (to moderate at worst) scrub in a few bits, but a pretty good pad has formed through most of it. The spagnum moss is probably more of a pain than the scrub. But I guess if you don't follow the pad?
Abseil??? huh? All easy walking, just a tad steep. Photo below shows about the steepest on the main track, the short sidetrack to the base of the falls (not carrying pack) is somewhat steeper, but simple enough. :wink:
P1010612.JPG
Last edited by sthughes on Tue 06 Nov, 2012 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby Genesis » Tue 30 Oct, 2012 7:27 pm

StHughes,

Thanks for th info, looks like crossing is down to two main options:

1. Around McCoy Falls
2. Harnett Falls

Weatherzone 28-day forecast is currently saying RAIN!!! for my planned dates, but when walking in Tas this is to be expected.
My last walk at the walls last Nov I had rain, sleet, snow and HOT sunny days, Welcome to Tassie :)

Will have to play it by ear I suspect, what are (if any) the HIGH water crossing options ??

The days are long in Nov so even though it will be a long day I expect we will have plenty of walking light.

Thanks for the pic, I gather this is the track near Clarke Falls?

If you have any pictures of the crossing would be appreciated :D

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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby sthughes » Tue 30 Oct, 2012 9:25 pm

Genesis wrote:StHughes,

Thanks for th info, looks like crossing is down to two main options:

1. Around McCoy Falls
2. Harnett Falls

Weatherzone 28-day forecast is currently saying RAIN!!! for my planned dates, but when walking in Tas this is to be expected.
My last walk at the walls last Nov I had rain, sleet, snow and HOT sunny days, Welcome to Tassie :)

Will have to play it by ear I suspect, what are (if any) the HIGH water crossing options ??

The days are long in Nov so even though it will be a long day I expect we will have plenty of walking light.

Thanks for the pic, I gather this is the track near Clarke Falls?

If you have any pictures of the crossing would be appreciated :D

Genesis

Yeah that pic is just past Clarke Falls somewhere. If you have a look at this topic there are a couple of pics of where we've crossed. http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5286

If water levels are too high I'd look for the rock bridge, but I know nothing about it. Otherwise get very wet crossing (swimming) between McCoy Falls and Harnett falls where the water is relatively slow moving. Or plan D - go for a walk the other way up to Meston/Myrtle/Walls/Rogoona area. :wink:
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby dplanet » Wed 31 Oct, 2012 1:29 am

Plan to walk it too; but this time will be solo. Did it on a 10-day (?) VNPA group walk years years ago and enjoyed it. I attach 2 pics below, the route I found from a search and hope they might be of use.

Regarding weather app, I also use weatherzone (do like it); but mine shows only 7-day forecast. Just checked out weather forecast for the alpine area where we will hike over The Cup Weekend. How do you setup yours for 28-day forecast?
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby edwinsoh » Thu 01 Nov, 2012 4:17 am

Hi, just did the Never Never last month from Junction Lake to Bert Nicholas Hut.

1. What is the best way to descend Clarke Falls, North or sothern side? What is the descent like?

Just follow the path from Junction Lake, it's along the north side of mersey river, easy steep slope.

2. I have heard that several of the past "reliable crossings" are now not so much is there such thing as a reliable place to cross from the northern bank to the south
and at what point is best to do so.

This is the GPS coordinates of my river crossing from north to south. S41 55.265 E146 08.927. It's a few fallen tree all clustered together, lots of branches to hold on. Kinda of slippery crossing but not a big deal.
P1120171.jpg
River crossing
P1120171.jpg (120.8 KiB) Viewed 2399 times


3. What sort of walk times should I expect? stopping for pics etc...... I was planning to get from Junction to Kia ora in a day?

You can definitely get to Junction to Kia Ora in a day. We set off from Junction lake, stop at a junction for a side trip down to Clarke Falls, navigated the Never Never way north of the River (Much easier walking) and cut almost straight down south to the log crossing.
Screen Shot 2012-11-01 at 2.05.27 AM.png
Our track thru the Never Never
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby tigercat » Thu 01 Nov, 2012 7:49 am

Edwinsoh wrote '[color=#0000BF]This is the GPS coordinates of my river crossing from north to south. S41 55.265 E146 08.927. It's a few fallen tree all clustered together, lots of branches to hold on. Kinda of slippery crossing but not a big deal.'

Are these GPS coordinates GDA off the new 1;250000 map?
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby edwinsoh » Thu 01 Nov, 2012 1:14 pm

balboaknight wrote:Edwinsoh wrote '[color=#0000BF]This is the GPS coordinates of my river crossing from north to south. S41 55.265 E146 08.927. It's a few fallen tree all clustered together, lots of branches to hold on. Kinda of slippery crossing but not a big deal.'

Are these GPS coordinates GDA off the new 1;250000 map?


Bookmarked the log on my Garmin before crossing.
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby chapman » Tue 06 Nov, 2012 12:54 pm

Further about the Never Never. Over the past 35 years I have noticed the log crossings keep changing, trees fall and give a good crossing for a period then floods wash them away or just push them sideways. There are no permanent reliable log crossings. As with all unbridged streams, expect such crossings to keep changing and thats why its a route for experienced walkers - you must search for and find what you consider a safe crossing. The only permanent crosssing is the rock spanning the gorge below Fergusson Falls - a bit airy for some but a fairly easy scramble. It does take some time to get to, you must go past it then double back along the terrace towards Fergusson falls to find it. I have also used that rock as a crossing coming directly down from Cathedral Mountain, one of many routes I have walked but not written up.

Regarding the beech forest, yes its much easier to keep north of the heath/bog and walk through the edge of forest, if you look carefully you will discover a line of old blazes marking what was once an old track - probably used by trappers. I know I have not placed this into the notes for the Never Never, its always an issue about how much detail to write up - this is supposed to be a route for experienced walkers and those sorts of walkers dont need every detail as they work it out for themselves. While not obvious, I provide less information for poorer or unmarked tracks as they are aimed at experienced walkers who can work out when there. Hopefully this will discourage those who really should not be there.

As for the Never Never being scrubby, if you think the Never Never is scrubby then perhaps you dont have enough experience yet with scrub as its easy compared to the really scrubby routes elsewhere in the state.
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby Nuts » Tue 06 Nov, 2012 3:00 pm

chapman wrote: - this is supposed to be a route for experienced walkers and those sorts of walkers dont need every detail as they work it out for themselves. While not obvious, I provide less information for poorer or unmarked tracks as they are aimed at experienced walkers who can work out when there. Hopefully this will discourage those who really should not be there.


Like many walkers iv'e used (and at times been thankful for) your notes... It's great to see your consideration for less detail/ for less experienced walkers.. but (with the Never Never in mind) the number of less experienced walkers looking for 'track notes' suggests this hasn't worked. Let's hope this vvv suggestion doesn't take off...

chapman wrote:The only permanent crosssing is the rock spanning the gorge below Fergusson Falls - a bit airy for some but a fairly easy scramble. It does take some time to get to, you must go past it then double back along the terrace towards Fergusson falls to find it.
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby tastrekker » Wed 07 Nov, 2012 7:25 am

I can vouch for the rock crossing as a reliable flood crossing having done it on winter NN trips where wading the river would be impossible. The rock bridge is exposed and extreme care must be taken but it's no worse than many summit climbs. It took less than 20 minutes to walk the 700m through open myrtle forest from Hartnett to Ferguson Falls.
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby Genesis » Sun 11 Nov, 2012 9:49 pm

Thanks all,

With all Never Never tips and route posts, I now have a lot to help plan my "Proposed" route ;)

I do have a question regarding the state of repair Junction hut, I know that Meston hut and that Junction was built by the same person
and I have recently stayed in Meston hut but I would like to get some feedback about Junction hut from recent visits if I could please.
How many will it bed, state of repair etc etc...

Cheers

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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby Ent » Sun 11 Nov, 2012 11:01 pm

Hi

Having been there a few weeks ago the hut is very much like Meston. Parks have stopped fires in the hut for typical Parks reasoning. It is waterproof and largely windproof. It is small suitable for four. Given the popularity of the area I would not be surprised to find it used so would not rely on it being available.

The Moses Creek Track is now on OSM.

Cheers

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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby Nuts » Mon 12 Nov, 2012 7:35 am

Identical aren't they? Junction was in a bit better condition last time I was there.
I see the never never mentioned in the OLT access thread (parks policy) so I guess it is now an accepted route. Perhaps next needs to come a bridge if P&W are forced to deal with increased inexperienced traffic?

I love the walls and the Mersey (ESP from Hartnett down) but the walk between them (walls- OLT) tbh is relatively not much.. dont really see the appeal. Suppose it's become one of those bucket list walks. Some great walking in the area but not as a through bushwalk.
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby dplanet » Mon 12 Nov, 2012 2:57 pm

I think a log bridge like the one below would be good enough.
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby Ent » Mon 12 Nov, 2012 6:45 pm

Hi. Nuts

I agree with your sentiments. Junction and Meston Huts were designed for small groups of locals to use as home away from home to explore the area but now Chapman's hordes are turning it into a through way on yet another bucket list walk. I seen first hand underprepared walkers or sprint teams ticking off the walk and this saddens me.

What gets missed is the. Mersey is an unpredictable river and has no environmentally sound all season crossing. The track is not harden and given that Parks has enough trouble with sections of the OLT it is unlikely much will happen to protect the area.

As for what is nice walk, well each will have their own opinion but I also think that checking out the falls from the OLT side gives the best views. In fact in my opinion where you come in on the OLT means you miss the best bits.

The Never. Never is one of the many "rat" runs to the OLT but I suppose the name has romantic notions so gets sales for Chapman's books. It would be nice is some areas could be left for traditional users rather than fee avoiding schemes to access the OLT.

Regards
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby corvus » Mon 12 Nov, 2012 6:59 pm

G'day Ent,
It was thanks to "Chapman" that I first did the NN almost 20 years ago and as a result of that perhaps why you ,sthughes and I also did it did it a couple of years back,were we part of "Chapmans " hordes especially since we did it again last summer :lol:
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Mon 12 Nov, 2012 7:13 pm

corvus wrote:G'day Ent,
It was thanks to "Chapman" that I first did the NN almost 20 years ago and as a result of that perhaps why you ,sthughes and I also did it did it a couple of years back,were we part of "Chapmans " hordes especially since we did it again last summer :lol:
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Exactly right! We all start somewhere. It's not Chapmans fault if the plebs cant decide whats a safe walk and what isnt.
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby Nuts » Mon 12 Nov, 2012 7:15 pm

tbh, i'm now not sure where I read a description. If it was in one of John Chapmans books then yes, that particular route is a shame. Perhaps it would'nt matter.. the number of people willing to give detailed help on here.. then it did start somewhere

never never always always :)
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Re: Never Never Navigation ?

Postby Nuts » Mon 12 Nov, 2012 7:41 pm

corvus wrote:G'day Ent,
It was thanks to "Chapman" that I first did the NN almost 20 years ago and as a result of that perhaps why you ,sthughes and I also did it did it a couple of years back,were we part of "Chapmans " hordes especially since we did it again last summer :lol:
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I'm also not sure how best to say it without perhaps sounding like some sort of a boast, but i used a map :?

No doubt the notes and pics are interesting and re-assuring i guess but yep, just a map. All the tracks are on there.. then.. well, you just head a few k's down a river.. if crossing freaks you out too much, turn around and go home..
Last edited by Nuts on Mon 12 Nov, 2012 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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